January 19, 2012
Luck on affiliation, Capital Classic, coaching search
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YE OLDE notebook:

  • WVU fans wish to know. Ditto Big East and Big 12 fans.
  • The Mountaineers are planning to move to the Big 12 for the next school year. The Big East is blocking that through the courts, trying to hold WVU to its commitment to a 27-month waiting period before exiting.

    On Thursday, the question of West Virginia's status was put to school athletic director Oliver Luck.

    "I can't help much," Luck said. "I'm sworn to secrecy."

    By school lawyers?

    "Lawyers, judges ... I'm not going to comment," Luck said. "My silence is all I can offer."

    So I went to three respected lawyers, who all agree that a compromise will be the answer. They point to the non-binding mediation ordered by a judge in Rhode Island.

    Providence County Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein signed the order and scheduled a status conference for Feb. 9. WVU has sued in the Mountain State; the Big East sued in Providence.

    In non-binding mediation, both parties huddle with a facilitator to try to resolve differences and avoid trials.

    Local attorney Rusty Webb calls the case "unprecedented" in regard to dueling jurisdiction and questionable enforcement power. Another, who spoke for background, said if a ruling was made against WVU in Rhode Island, an appeal would be forthcoming from the school. That would take up to a year or two to resolve.

    So all signs point to WVU jumping to the Big 12 next school year and paying damages. What's odd is neither the Big East nor the Big 12 seem to be covering their respective behinds in regard to scheduling.

    That means either a compromise is being hammered out now or one set of schools, likely the Big East, will be left with 11-game football schedules.

    WVU must join the Big 12 to have its full slate of games. When TCU jumped to the Big East and then to the Big 12, it left a hole in the Mountaineer schedule.

    There are issues to consider. The Big East must know any injunction issued against WVU in Rhode Island would be appealed. With that hanging, the Mountaineers would jump. An army wouldn't be making its way from Providence to prevent the football team from going to, say, Lubbock, Texas. Also, if WVU loses the appeal, the order would have to be enforced here in the Mountain State. That might prove to be a problem because courts here might not adhere to the order for a myriad of reasons, including those of jurisdictional or constitutional questions.

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